As you’ve probably heard from your dentist during your cleanings (or in another one of these blogs!), having good oral health is essential to having good overall health. We tend to think of this correlation as a preventative measure rather than one that can dial back health issues you already have. However, for the 1 in 3 Americans who already have high blood pressure, we may have some good news.
New research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017 suggests that intensive treatment for gum disease can actually lower high blood pressure! 107 Chinese men and women with high blood pressure and moderate to severe gum disease received either standard or intensive periodontal treatment. In the patients who received the intensive treatment, their blood pressure dropped significantly over the subsequent months, with systolic blood pressure down by 13 points, and diastolic blood pressure down 10 points after six months.
Of course, this research is fairly new, and periodontal treatment isn’t a cure-all for cardiovascular issues. However, if you have gum disease in addition to high blood pressure, scheduling a visit for some periodontal care certainly can’t hurt!